Books, news, & views from Karen Traviss

Getting the human side of military fiction right

I bang on about this a lot, I know, but a conversation this week with a serving US soldier reminded me why I should harp on about it forever: getting military fiction right, especially the human side, matters more than ever. Fiction is frequently the most powerful and sometimes the only window people have on the real military world. My crusade in life is to erase lazily written military stereotypes from the face of the Earth, unless it's forced to carry a CONTAINS BULLSHIT warning in big red letters.

The first part of my guest blog for Fictorians is here. Part II is here. And remember that just because a movie, book, or whatever tries to pass itself off as authentic, it doesn't mean that it is. Try my three-movie test, as outlined in the blog.

If you get the details of a fictional plasma-powered rifle wrong, you've upset a few fans. It doesn't impinge on the real world. If you portray military personnel inaccurately, though, you've done real people (and dare I say it, the best of our species) a serious disservice. I know which matters more in the global scheme of things.